Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Carling Currie Cup: Round 6 Preview

Carling Currie Cup: Round 6 Preview

Cheetahs Celebrate scoring against the Sharks

Our man Darry Worthington previews the weekend's Carling Currie Cup clashes between the Griquas and the Free State Cheetahs as well as the Pumas and the Bulls.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Griquas v Free State Cheetahs
Saturday 9 January
Tafel Larger Park
16:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Griquas 4/1
Draw 33/1
Cheetahs 1/6

Handicap

Griquas (+11.5) 9/10
Cheetahs (-11.5) 9/10


First up on the menu is the Griquas versus the Cheetahs. Both teams only have pride to play for with the Griquas all but guaranteed last spot on the standings, while the Cheetahs are out of the running for a semi-final berth after they suffered a dramatic late defeat to Western Province last weekend. 

The Cheetahs actually gave a really good account of themselves in their last outing coming back from 20-9 down at half-time to take a 29-28 lead into the final salvos of the game courtesy of the boot of Frans Steyn. Their semi-final dreams would have come crashing down however, with Western Province 10 Tim Swiel slotting a late penalty that condemned the Free Staters to a two-point loss. 

The Griquas were also in action last week and didn't have a great time of it either as they were hammered 47-19 to the Sharks in Durban. 

The two sides met earlier this year in Super Rugby Unlocked with the Cheetahs running out 28-9 in Bloemfontein.  

Verdict: Cheetahs (-11.5) 9/10
I reckon we're in for a very open game here with both teams having nothing to lose.  My money is on an experienced Cheetahs side blitzing their opponents in the final quarter of the game to clear the handicap. 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The curtain will come down on the Currie Cup round-robin phase at the Mbombela Stadium this Sunday where the Pumas will take on the log-leading Bulls. The visitors are likely to field an understrength team as they secured top spot on the log with a mid-week victory over the Golden Lions. 

Pumas v Blue Bulls
Sunday 10 January
Mbombela Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Pumas 11/2
Draw 28/1
Bulls 1/8

Handicap
Pumas (+14.5) 9/10
Bulls (-14.5) 9/10

The Pumas will look to end their Currie Cup on a high note when they play host to the Bulls this weekend. The Nelspruit team currently occupy sixth spot on the log, and while they can't improve on this they will still be eager to sign off with a win over the tournament pacesetting Bulls. 

This Sunday's hosts have only recorded one win from the five games they have played with that victory coming over the Griquas way back in Round 2. They have struggled against the big teams, going down 35-10 to the Sharks and 28-14 to Western Province. They've produced a bit of fight in their last two outings, however, going down by just a point to the Cheetahs and by just eight points to the Lions. 

The Pumas were also rather plucky when they took on the Bulls in Super Rugby Unlocked as they managed to stifle the hosts on attack and only go down 21-5 to their opponents at Loftus, which kept them well within the plus handicap. 

This game will count for little for Jake White and his charges as their 22-15 midweek victory over an in-form Lions side ensured they will have hosting rights to the final should they win their semi-final clash which is likely to be against the Sharks who had their final round-robin Currie Cup game against Western Province called off. 

The Bulls actually rotated in midweek bringing in a few of their young backs for the game against the Lions. It will be interesting to see if White brings in his backline stalwarts for this one in a bid to give them game time ahead of the knockout phase of the tournament, I feel the former Springbok mentor will do this and weaken his pack somewhat. 

As noted earlier, the Bulls won the last encounter between the sides by 17 points. They've also won the last two Currie Cup meetings between the sides beating the Pumas 17-25 last season and 39-29 in 2018. 

Verdict: Pumas (+14.5) 9/10
If the weather holds out then I'm expecting an absolute try fest here as both teams have little to play for. I do fancy the Pumas to make it a close-run thing. 

Written by Darry Worthington.

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